I’m a Wisconsin writer with a passion for all things mid-century: furniture, dishes, and kitsch. After a career in public health nursing I shifted my attention to writing. In 2005 I spent three months in Germany teaching poetry in schools during a writing residency. My poems have been published in Bellevue Literary Review, Rattle, and Crab Orchard Review. I live at the confluence of the Fond du Lac River and the Dutch Gap.
Art and science
He wanted to draw the star pattern
shaped like him. He’d add a ball
balancing off one toe, call it star boy.
The hills in his picture were purple,
like the way they really look,
but the teacher said no, hills are green,
you know this by middle school.
She said hold your paper parallel,
cut shapes like this. Said you aren’t listening,
said I’m calling your mother,
quit doodling those stars,
how’d you like a referral,
boys are not really stars,
stars are not really boys,
said who do you think
you are? Brown hair, brown eyes.
Draw that. He sketched his constellation,
the one he first saw in third grade
and now it arranged itself easily
the way sugar crystals flicker in the blue
enamel bowl where birthday cakes
got started. And that color he made up
but later found on a chart
across from orange, labeled royal.
He thought about blue satin and the shirt
in the paint by number picture
over grandmother’s dusty mantle where
the boy wore a hat with a feather
and held his rabbit still, how
the rabbit looked real, the boy scared,
misplaced, his half smile hiding a moustache
or mistake of brushstroke, shadow in bad light.
He felt his own upper lip, still bare,
remembered how the rabbit looked just right.
©2016 Paula Sergi
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